"To have something" in the passive mode

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Hi,

In last June there was a controversy about the wife of a French Player, an English native, using in her twitter the phrase "there is respect to be had". Most of the people, all of them hostile to the lady, were saying that this was not correct English.

These days I came across the same thing in a website speaking about the new Iphone in Australia and England, which "can be had" at XXX dollars/pounds.

Is this correct English?

Thank you so much.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "There is respect to be had" is grammatically possible, but it isn't a clear way of expressing "We must have respect" or something similar. In fact, I'm not really sure what she intended that sentence to mean. Maybe she thought that it was possible to have respect in the situation she was twittering about.

    It is obviously some kind of passive language. I much prefer active language, as do many English-speakers:

    A good time was had by all. :thumbsdown:
    Everybody had a good time. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I came across . . . a website speaking about the new iPhone in Australia and England, which "can be had" at XXX dollars/pounds.
    Is this correct English?
    Yes. We would say "can be had for XXX dollars". Had here = bought.
     
    "There is respect to be had" is grammatically possible, but it isn't a clear way of expressing "We must have respect" or something similar. In fact, I'm not really sure what she intended that sentence to mean. Maybe she thought that it was possible to have respect in the situation she was twittering about.

    It is obviously some kind of passive language. I much prefer active language, as do many English-speakers:

    A good time was had by all. :thumbsdown:
    Everybody had a good time. :thumbsup:
    Thank you so much. The context is as follows:

    Atanes probably didn't help her boyfriend's international cause after publicly blasting Deschamps for leaving Nasri out of the squad by tweeting: [CENSORED LANGUAGE]

    'Let's just get this straight! I'm not mad I get my bf for two months.... I just think there's a level of respect to be had!'

    Hope that this helps.

    Thanks
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome.

    I'm not mad I get my bf for two months.... I just think there's a level of respect to be had!'
    The remark seems pretty incoherent to me. She's not mad because/that she gets her boyfriend(?) for two months? What is that supposed to mean? I sure don't know. She seems to be excited because somebody is not getting the respect she thinks that person deserves.

    People often write strange things in text messages and twitters. I don't think I'd be too upset because this woman wrote something incoherent in a twitter. Perhaps some member who is skilled in the art of deciphering tweets and twitters will find meaning where I couldn't. :)
     
    You're welcome.

    The remark seems pretty incoherent to me. She's not mad because/that she gets her boyfriend(?) for two months? What is that supposed to mean? I sure don't know. She seems to be excited because somebody is not getting the respect she thinks that person deserves.

    People often write strange things in text messages and twitters. I don't think I'd be too upset because this woman wrote something incoherent in a twitter. Perhaps some member who is skilled in the art of deciphering tweets and twitters will find meaning where I couldn't. :)
    Thanks a lot owlman5, this is clear :)
     
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